What is a Circular Saw Used For?

Last updated: November 17, 2020
Published 2:41 pm

Introduction

A circular is a type of power saw used to cut different materials like wood and metal. It cuts up material with a toothed or abrasive circular blade that spins in a rotatory motion around an arbor. It is mostly found among contractors and DIYers. Materials like wood, plastic, metal, masonry can be cut with a circular saw. There are different types of circular saws, from the handheld saws to those mounted on a machine, and they can be used for both heavy-duty and small tasks. The handheld type is commonly referred to as the circular saw, while the other types are the table and chop saw.

The circular saw blades are uniquely designed for the material they can be used to cut. This means that the blade to cut up wood can’t be used to cut metal or plastic. Circular saws can either be electric or gas-powered; some models may run on a hydraulic motor. Circular saws require a lot of power to function because of the constant rotatory motion of the blades. The sound of the circular saw is like a buzz making it earn the nickname buzz-saw.

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Features of the Circular Saw

There are different types and models of the circular saw. As different as each of them may seem, there are some features that available on them. Learning about the parts of the circular saw is the first step to understanding how it works and what it is used for. Below are some of the features of a circular saw

Base Plate

The base plate is the square-shaped blade at the base of your circular saw. It is kind of heavy and has calibrations on it to help you cut at the required measurements. The base plate can be adjusted to make cutting more convenient. You can bend it a little to make angled cuts and also adjust it to cut at angles between 45 to 90 degrees.

Blade

The blade is obviously a major part of the circular saw. The blade does the most work when using the circular saw. It cuts through the material at a depth set by the user and allows you to cut each material at different depths. There are different kinds of blades used with the circular saw. Some blades are specific for a particular material, while some can be used for multiple purposes. The most popular types of circular saw blade are the HSS or High-Speed Steel blade used for industrial heavy-duty work and the TCT or Tungsten Carbide Tipped blade used to cut hardwood. Some other types of blade include a Cross-cutting blade with more than 40 teeth, abrasive blades, plywood blade, masonry blade, etc. To know more about the circular saw blades, check out The Different Circular Saw Blades?

Blade Guard

The blade guard makes the circular saw much safer to use. There are two parts of the blade guard, the fixed guard right above the blade and the floating guard that can be removed when you want to use the tool. Blade guards come with a handle that allows you to lift or adjust it while making cuts.

Dust Ejector

Dust ejector is used to clear up sawdust when cutting. It prevents the dust from flying all over your face and interrupting your work. The dust ejector is a necessary feature because it keeps your workspace clean and dust-free.

Uses Of a Circular Saw

The circular saw is a handheld power tool used for cutting various materials. Below are the most common uses of a circular saw

For Cutting Large-Sized Timber

Circular saws can be used to cut large pieces of timber into smaller pieces. There are big heavy-duty circular saws used in sawmills to cut through large blocks of timber.

For Cutting Long Plywood

A circular saw is one of the most common choices when cutting plywood. All you need is a straight edge guide to help you make accurate cuts, and the cutting depth should be a few millimeters deeper than the plywood’s thickness. You can use small blocks to support the plywood when cutting.

For Cutting Logs into Firewood

Cordwood saws a type of circular saw used to cut up logs and slabs into small pieces of firewood. Traditional saws have been replaced by circular saws, especially in the firewood industry.

For Cutting Metal

Cutting through metal is different from cutting through wood; for this, you’ll need a saw blade strong enough to sink into any type of metal like brass or steel. Cold saws are the ideal circular saws used to cut up metal. It has sharp teeth that precisely cut up the metal.

To Make Straight Cuts

Circular saws can be used to make straight or 90-degree cuts. Any circular saw can cut wood or metals at any angle. When making straight cuts, align the saw with the material and adjust the speed of the blade to maximum before using it on the material. The smooth side of the material should face down when cutting.

To Make Crosscuts

Crosscuts are used to shorten long timber and boards; it is used to maintain the quality of the grain by cutting towards the grain. A Circular saw is the ideal tool to make circular cuts effectively.

How to Use a Circular Saw

Using the circular saw requires minimal technique and skill. To get the hang of it, follow the steps below

  • When using the circular saw, the first step is to get the right type of blade for that material and project. Using the wrong blade will reduce the efficiency of the saw and damage your material.
  • Support the material on a sawhorse or saw table before you start cutting. Be sure that the material is stable enough; if it isn’t, you can use small blocks to keep it stable. Do not place your material on a board or concrete slab because it won’t react to the power and movement of the blade.
  • Use a pencil or pen and a measuring tape to mark out the area you want to cut. This is to help you accurately cut the material at your desired length.
  • Set your cutting depth. The circular saw blade has a wide range of depth setting, be careful not to set it to deep.
  • Check the saw guard to make sure it is working smoothly. The guard should push u when the saw starts cutting. The blade guard is for your safety, do not remove it from the tool.
  • After the blade guard is set, you can start cutting. To cut accurately, align the base plate with the marked area on the material. Use both hands when cutting and keep your eyes on the guide.

Conclusion

A circular saw is a powerful handheld saw used mostly by professional carpenters and DIY enthusiasts. It works with specialized blades used to cut through any type of material irrespective of the size. Circular saws are of different types and each of these types follows the same general procedure and safety precaution. When using the circular saw, it is important to wear the necessary safety equipment and read through the instruction manual. Follow the steps above when using the circular saw.